Saturday, January 12, 2013

Picture Post: Saturday Morning Farmer's Market

For a few years now we have been buying our family's fresh produce and fruits from local farmer's markets. We love our Saturday morning farmer's market routine. Fridge is always empty by Friday night and the Saturday morning visit to markets is not only the necessity in our household but has now become a tradition of kick-starting your weekend with a relaxing family activity. We reward ourselves occasionally by stopping by at a nearby coffee place to grab an egg sandwich and a hot cup of coffee on wintry days or a cold refreshing fresh fruit juice when the sun shines high up above. But on most days, a leisurely stroll through lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and surrounded by like-minded foodies, is all this foodie is really looking for!

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be living in an area with a year-around farmer's market. We enjoy every season to our heart's content with locally grown fruits and vegetables - sweet berries in spring, lots of stone fruits and squashes in summer, persimmon, yams and Brussels sprouts in fall and oranges and all the abundance of green vegetables in winter!

Today I take you through our local farmer's market tour through a picture post. So sit back and relax and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

View of the market street from our coffee place - when the weather is below freezing, got to have caffeine to kick-start your day..





This is the local Asian vendor - a stall of choice for all those looking for bok-choys, mustard greens, fenugreek (methi) and lemongrass - needless to say always my go-to stop :)





Winter is such a great season here with abundance of parsnips, cabbages, sweet potato and remnants of fall pumpkins and squashes - yum!






These are persimmons - our favorite fall fruit! I am not quite sure if these are available in other parts of US but they are absolutely yum. Flavor-wise they are very similar to Chikku fruit common in India.





The ones shown above are the fuyu persimmon. These are most readily available here. The other variety is Hachiya persimmon which is a heart-shaped fruit (there is a picture below). Hachiya are very stringy unless very ripe - but when they are fully ripe, it's a fruit with no other equal (or so they say - I haven't tried Hachiya yet).






It's a great time to buy green leafy vegetables - from left to right: celery stalk, red chard, kale and brussel sprouts stalk. I will post my favorite roasted brussel sprouts recipe sometime soon - but perfectly roasted sprouts are so so good!










And of-course no winter farmer's market in California is complete without rows and rows of lemons and oranges. These are meyer lemons - have you had meyer lemons before? They are called "lemons" but they are very sweet and I find flavor a cross between lemon and oranges. Perfect for marmalade and such!









On the left you can see hachiya persimmons here. Then various oranges - cara cara, tangarines and grapes

This is our haul today from our vegetable stall. Bought two large fresh bunches of fenugreek (methi) planning for methi paratha and methi varan. One cauliflower for our usual simple cauliflower sabji, a bunch of fresh carrots for my daughter's khichadi and onion/garlic/tomatoes/potatoes - usual staples.

Do you visit your local farmer's markets? What do you like and what do you wish would be different?

9 comments:

  1. You are really blessed to have a year around farmer's market. Fantastic and super fresh veggies.

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    1. yes - it is definitely great to have a year-around market, no question about that :)

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  2. I've never ever tasted a persimmon. Now that you say it tastes like chikoo, I shall have to try one very soon.

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    1. I am sure you won't be disappointed, Nupur! if you are trying for the first time, try a very ripe one - one which is almost squishy to touch would be perfect chikko replacement.

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  3. It is a weekend tradition at our place too, to visit the yearly farmers' market. Being in bay area, almost every county/town has one, and even if we miss to go on Saturday, we head out to a different one on Sunday! Last visit I tried out Romanesco cauliflower. It looked so interesting and couldn't couldn't couldn't buying! There is also this weird looking citrus thing called Buddha's hand which I am seeing in winter, which I want to try out sometime.

    -Neha

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    1. oops, I mean "couldn't resist buying" :D

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    2. Hi Neha, I know - it's so good being in the bay. We also go to Sunday market if we miss Saturday. I have romanesco before - it always reminds me of fractals in Mathematics! I have seen the Buddha's hands too, but never tried it. Have you tried one? Did you like it?

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  4. Very vibrant and fresh looking veggies in the market. Wish I too was there to have a look in detail.
    Deepa

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a bunch, Deepa! So glad you liked the pictures :)

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